Mercury hits 21 below in Bellemont

2013-01-13T04:55:00Z Mercury hits 21 below in BellemontDAILY SUN STAFF Arizona Daily Sun
January 13, 2013 4:55 am  • 

How cold was it in the Flagstaff region early Saturday morning?

Try 21 degrees below zero in Bellemont.

Or minus 17 in Fort Valley and minus 14 at Sunset Crater.

By comparison, the low at Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport was a relatively balmy 9 degrees below zero.

And don't expect to see 32 degrees in Flagstaff any day soon. The predicted highs, according to the National Weather Service in Bellemont, are 21 degrees Sunday, 18 degrees on Monday with wind chills as low at minus 15, and 27 degrees on Tuesday.

Only on Wednesday does the cold move out for a high of 39 degrees.

Elsewhere, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon set a record for Jan. 12 for the lowest high temperature -- 12 degrees.

The high temperature in Page Saturday was just 31 degrees.

Other overnight low temperatures into Saturday morning were minus 18 degrees in Window Rock, minus 15 at Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan and minus 1 at Walnut Canyon.

Elsewhere in Arizona, Maricopa County was expecting the coldest nighttime temperatures in years and possibly ruining crops and damaging plumbing. Temperatures are expected to get into the low 30s throughout Maricopa County this weekend and possibly reach the low 20s in some areas, the National Weather Service said. Thanks to bitter cold air from Canada, a countywide freeze warning has been issued for Saturday through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, parts of southern Arizona remained under a hard freeze warning.

Authorities are telling county residents to keep their pets inside and cover any sensitive plants or outdoor plumbing. Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday declared a state of emergency and lifted a law to allow the transportation of propane anytime of the day.

Phoenix Herpetological Society staffers worked throughout the night Friday to heat crocodile pens and move many other reptiles inside.

"Out here in north Scottsdale we're looking at probably the mid-20s, much too cold for reptiles to be comfortable and happy," Daniel Marchand, curator of the herpetological center, told KSAZ-TV. "We have to provide them with heated shelter, as far as tortoises go and any other lizards and the crocodilians have to have warmer heated water."

At Citrus Heights Farms in Mesa, farm manager Todd Shell worked to try to protect the 20,000 citrus trees planted on 200 acres in an area that rarely gets long bouts of sub-freezing weather. "You know, if it gets below 28 for a few hours the fruit is in jeopardy," Shell told KSAZ-TV.

Daytime temperatures from Saturday to Monday around the Phoenix metropolitan area are expected to be between 47 and 49 degrees, which is below normal for this time of year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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